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The paternity challenging process

Missouri citizens who wish to challenge the legal paternity of a child may choose to approach the court and petition to have the fatherhood status of the child changed. They must be willing to state their grounds for challenging the current status, produce evidence that supports their assertions, and properly go through the process of filing a complaint that states their case and proposes a remedy.

Establishing paternity for a child is essential for a wide variety of reasons. Not only does the child have the right to inherit from their father and to be covered by their veterans benefits or other ancillary programs, but it is important to the child's health. If the child is to properly prepare to combat any diseases with a genetic component or well-known hereditary syndromes, then they must be properly informed of their true parentage. Fathers are also legally obligated to support their children financially. If a man can be proven to be the father and have the legal paternity status transferred to him, then he will have to take over all necessary child support payments.

There are several actionable grounds upon which to challenge an existing paternity status. This is possible even if there is already a DNA test that indicates paternity results that the petitioner believes to be inaccurate. If there is reason to believe that the lab results were questionable, faulty, inappropriately made or fraudulent in some way, then it is possible to produce new lab results that support the petitioner's assertion and have the legal paternity changed.

Missourians seeking to establish legal paternity may wish to consult with an attorney. An attorney may be able to suggest useful resources and methods to comply with the legal necessities to make the case.

Source: Findlaw, "Challenging Paternity", December 10, 2014

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